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<<Still confused! Could you please tell me the advantages and disadvantages to these 2 plans? I do plan on retiring at 50 or 55 from a school system, but will continue in another school in another state or in the private sector.>>

There's really not more to say. The 457 plan is a nonqualified plan for IRS purposes. That means when you retire you will be forced to take a distribution from that plan and pay taxes whether you want to do so or not. The 403b is a qualified plan. That means you may transfer all the money to an IRA at retirement to continue tax deferral of earnings on the total. You may withdraw what you need from the IRA and just pay tax on the amount taken. Unlike the 457 plan, with the 403b you will not be required to take money until age 70 ½. That's the age where minimum required distributions kick in for IRA and qualified retirement plans.

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